30 January 2018

Where will our energy come from in 2030, and how green will it be?

Katherine Hamilton
Source Link

How can the energy industry adapt to meet the needs of a growing population while also supporting low-carbon growth? Katherine Hamilton, Director of the Project for Clean Energy and Innovation, and co-chair of the Global Future Council on the Future of Energy, says that this essential transition will not happen without collaboration between large energy companies, entrepreneurs, the finance sector and consumers.

Why should we be thinking about the future of energy?

Life in 2030: these are the 4 things experts can't predict


Alvin Toffler predicted a future in his 1970 bestseller Future Shock that looks much like today’s reality. He anticipated the rise of the internet, the sharing economy, companies built on “adhocracy” rather than centralized bureaucracy, and the broader social confusions and concerns about technology. He foresaw that the evolving relationship between people and technology would shape how societies and economies develop.

How can the government revive manufacturing?

R. GopalanM.C. Singhi

An increased use of ratings, credit insurance, and reasonable choice by creditor committees in the IBC proceedings for MSMEs are necessary. Photo: Mint

After decelerating for five quarters, the growth in gross domestic product (GDP) recovered to 6.3% in Q2 of 2017-18 on account of a rebound in manufacturing. The projected growth at 6.5% in 2017-18 is premised on high growth in services in the next two quarters, though manufacturing growth may remain subdued. Our assessment also suggests manufacturing growth will remain subdued until 2018-19. Achieving 7.5% plus growth after 2018-19 will require a series of measures for manufacturing, which we outline below.


How India’s New Russian Air Defence System Will Force Adversaries To Change Tactics

by Prakhar Gupta

The deployment of the S-400 systems on India’s borders with China and Pakistan would affect the strategy of both countries against India, forcing them to change tack and serving as a deterrent. 

When a Russian Sukhoi Su-24, an all-weather attack aircraft on a mission in northern Syria, was shot down by a Turkish F-16 in November 2015 for alleged airspace violation, Russia responded by deploying its formidable S-400 Triumf air defence system in the region. The move pushed the Turkish Air Force out of Syrian airspace while forcing the United States (US) to change tack. The same could happen in Asia once the S-400 system takes up duty defending the Indian skies.

What is the S-400?

errorism related violence declines in Balochistan

By AREEBA FALAK

Despite the long standing discontent between the ethnic Baloch and Pakistan’s federal government due to its oppressive policies, terrorism-related violence has declined in the province over the last seven years. However, experts say that the reasons that destabilised the province still exist. 

According to partial data compiled by the South Asia Terrorism Portal (SATP), this year till 21 January, Balochistan recorded 26 fatalities out of which seven were civilians, 14 were Security Force (SF) personnel and five were militants. During the corresponding period in 2017, Balochistan had registered 11 fatalities out of which three were civilians, four were SF personnel and four militants.

The myth of the liberal international order

By Niall Ferguson 

The phrase international order reminds me of the phrase Western civilization. As Indian independence icon Mahatma Gandhi wittily replied when asked about Western civilization, "It would be a good idea." The notion that international order exists or has ever existed seems highly questionable to me. The notion of a liberal international order is even more questionable because it is neither liberal, nor international, nor very orderly.

It is often claimed by political scientists that the liberal international order came into existence in 1945. The argument goes that American and British statesmen, having learned from the terrible mistakes of the 1930s and 1940s, decided to make the world anew by creating a series of remarkable international institutions: the United Nations, the

Will the Liberal Order Survive? The History of an Idea

By Joseph S. Nye Jr.

During the nineteenth century, the United States played a minor role in the global balance of power. The country did not maintain a large standing army, and as late as the 1870s, the U.S. Navy was smaller than the navy of Chile. Americans had no problems using force to acquire land or resources (as Mexico and the Native American nations could attest), but for the most part, both the U.S. government and the American public opposed significant involvement in international affairs outside the Western Hemisphere

Tiny, Wealthy Qatar Goes Its Own Way, and Pays for It

By DECLAN WALSH

DOHA, Qatar — For the emir of Qatar, there has been little that money can’t buy.

As a teenager he dreamed of becoming the Boris Becker of the Arab world, so his parents flew the German tennis star to Qatar to give their son lessons. A lifelong sports fanatic, he later bought a French soccer team, Paris Saint-Germain, which last summer paid $263 million for a Brazilian striker — the highest transfer fee in the history of the game.

Preventing a Post-Collapse Crisis in North Korea How to Avoid Famine and Mass Migration

Joonbum Bae and Andrew Natsios

JOONBUM BAE is Visiting Assitant Professor of Political Science at Hobart & William Smith Colleges. ANDREW NATSIOS is an Executive Professor at Texas A&M University’s Bush School of Government and Public Service and Director of its Scowcroft Institute of International Affairs.

CHINA’S RISE IS OVER

by DANIEL C. LYNCH

Pudong

Pudong is a district of Shanghai, home to the Lujiazui Finance and Trade Zone, the Shanghai World Financial Center, and the Shanghai Stock Exchange. CC-BY-SA 3.0 via Wikipedia.

The Rise of China is over.

Note, by the way, that in saying the rise of China is over, I am not saying that China is on the verge of a collapse—I am not even certain what a collapse would look like. There are many people outside of China, portentously predicting a collapse, who evidently have in mind

CHINA AND RUSSIA MAY TAKE OVER THE TOP OF THE WORLD WITH NEW 'POLAR SILK ROAD' THROUGH THE ARCTIC


BY TOM O'CONNOR

The Chinese State Council Information Office published Friday a white paper titled "China's Arctic Policy," a document detailing Beijing's desire to get involved in opening shipping routes, harvesting resources, and investing in tourism, conservation and scientific exploration in the once–largely restricted 5.5 million square miles north of the Arctic Circle. China said it wished to achieve its goals in cooperation with other involved nations, including Russia, which has largely dominated efforts to traverse the Arctic region.

"On the one hand, melting ice in the Arctic has led to changes in the natural environment, or possibly can result in accelerated global warming, rising sea levels, increased extreme weather events, damaged biodiversity, and other global problems," the white paper read. "On the other, with the ice melted, conditions for the development of the Arctic may be gradually changed, offering opportunities for the commercial use of sea routes and development of resources in the region.

Taliban’s New Strategy: Attack the Cities

by Sami Yousafzai

KABUL—The horror continues: Two recent attacks on foreigners in Afghanistan—one on Sunday targeting the iconic Intercontinental Hotel on a hilltop in Kabul, and one on Wednesday against the offices of the Save the Children charity in Jalalabad—are meant to show that the government here cannot protect its people or those who come to help them.

And that, clearly, is the lesson many people in Kabul are taking away from them in an atmosphere of fear that is fed not only by the calculated violence of the Taliban and the so-called Islamic State, but by kidnapping and other crimes linked to warlords, and a deeply corrupt system of governance.

How a nuclear attack order is carried out now

 By Lisbeth Gronlund

If the president is not at the White House or other location with secure communication, he or she would use the so-called nuclear football to order the use of nuclear weapons. The football, or Presidential Emergency Satchel, is a briefcase containing various items, including a book laying out various attack options, from striking a small number of military targets to launching an all-out attack against Russian nuclear forces, military installations, leadership facilities, military industry, and economic centers. This briefcase is carried by an aide who stays near the president at all times.

Turkey’s attack on Syrian Kurds could overturn the entire region

Gareth Stansfield

In whichever state they live, the Kurds endure a perilous existence. In Iran, the Kurdish people of the west have suffered significant persecution at the hands of the Islamic republic, while in Iraq, the Kurds of the north were confronted with a well-organised military operation. They also faced a diplomatic initiative that illustrated that, even in the fractious world of Middle East politics, Kurdish aspirations can manage to unify Iraq, Iran and Turkey in common opposition, following the independence referendum.

Russia Is Poised to Surprise the US in Battlefield Robotics

BY SAMUEL BENDETT

How? It's a story of leaders' unusual agreement, a focus on fast-and-cheap production, and a decision to field lethal robots for combat. No one would call Russia’s government and budgetary bureaucracy particularly nimble, nor its defense industry particularly advanced. Certainly, it trails Western economies in such key areas as communication equipment, microelectronics, high-tech control systems, and other key technologies. But in certain aspects of the field of unmanned military systems, Russia may be inching ahead of its competition in designing and testing a wide variety of systems and conceptualizing their future use.

Trump Must Issue Executive Order on EMP Defense

By Henry F. Cooper
On page 12 of his National Security Strategy released on December 19, 2017, President Trump acknowledged most urgent threats to our critical infrastructure, including the electric power grid: “Critical infrastructure keeps our food fresh, our houses warm, our trade flowing, and our citizens productive and safe. The vulnerability of U.S. critical infrastructure to cyber, physical, and electromagnetic attacks means that adversaries could disrupt military command and control, banking and financial operations, the electrical grid, and means of communication.” You would think that Secretary of Defense, James Mattis, would at least give a nod to the existential electromagnetic pulse (EMP) threat to all we hold dear, but alas no such reference is to be found in his National Defense Strategy summary released a month later.

Controlling the Chief

Charlie Savage

It was August 2004, and the Iraqi insurgency was raging in Anbar province. Major General James “Mad Dog” Mattis of the Marines, who is now the Trump administration’s defense secretary, called a meeting with a group of religious leaders outside Fallujah. His division was coming under daily fire from both local militants and foreign terrorists associated with al-Qaeda’s affiliate in Iraq, and he hoped to persuade the leaders that it was misguided of them to encourage local young men to pick up rifles and shoot at American forces rather than trying to throw out al-Qaeda, whose bombings and beheadings were transforming their province into a hellscape.

‘Never get high on your own supply’ – why social media bosses don’t use social media

by Alex Hern
Source Link

Developers of platforms such as Facebook have admitted that they were designed to be addictive. Should we be following the executives’ example and going cold turkey – and is it even possible for mere mortals? Mark Zuckerberg doesn’t use Facebook like you or me. The 33-year-old chief executive has a team of 12 moderators dedicated to deleting comments and spam from his page, according to Bloomberg. He has a “handful” of employees who help him write his posts and speeches and a number of professional photographers who take perfectly stage-managed pictures of him meeting veterans in Kentucky, small-business owners in Missouri or cheesesteak vendors in Philadelphia.

Opinion The Guardian view on cyberwar: an urgent problem


In the desperate scramble to rearm before the second world war there was always an undercurrent of pessimism. “The bomber will always get through,” Stanley Baldwin warned. In his dark fantasies, destruction and poison gas rained from the skies and obliterated civilisation. That isn’t quite what happened, though the bombers did their best. Today’s equivalent is the feeling that the hacker will always get through, and that attacks on computer networks will become the most devastating form of future warfare.

Lockheed contracted for national cyber range management

By James LaPorta

Senior Airman Zach Wilt, 49th Communications Squadron cyber operator, installs Microsoft Windows 10 to a laptop at Holloman Air Force Base, N.M., on Nov. 1, 2017. Lockheed Martin has been awarded a contract for the national cyber range capability, which allows potentially virulent code to be studied without compromising live computer systems. The deal, announced Tuesday by the Department of Defense, is valued at more than $33.9 million and is a modification to a previous contract under the terms of a cost-plus-fixed fee agreement.

FUZZY THINKING ABOUT DRONES

JON ASKONAS AND COLBY HOWARD

Are drones reliable? Would you bet your life on them? In a recent article, Jacquelyn Schneider and Julia Macdonald argued that “the troops don’t trust drones” to protect them in combat with close air support. To understand how the people who actually coordinate airstrikes feel, they interviewed and surveyed Joint Terminals Air Controllers (JTACs) and Joint Fires Observers (JFOs) about their thoughts on working with manned and unmanned aircraft. They find some measure of hesitation about and distrust towards working with unmanned aircraft. In their conclusion, they argue that manned aircraft overhead inspire a “warm fuzzy” feeling of comfort and confidence in ground troops that unmanned platforms cannot provide. Ultimately, the authors recommend that “[p]olicymakers should reexamine their apparent commitment to an unmanned future.”

Google Parent Alphabet Launches New Cyber Security Business Billed As A ‘Digital Immune System’ To Fight Off Hackers


Agency France Presse (AFP) posted an article, January 24, 2018, to the website of the Daily Mail, with the title above. The article begins by noting that “Google’s parent Alphabet’s ‘moonshot’ lab unveiled a new ‘graduate’ which aims to make a business out of preventing cyber attacks. Chronicle, is the latest business unit to proclaim independence from the “X” lab — devoted to ambitious projects,” the publication noted. “Other ‘graduates’ from X include Waymo, the self-driving car; and, life sciences operation – Verily,” AFP noted.

“Chronicle began as an X project about two years ago,” AFP explained, “according to an online post by Chief Executive, Stephen Gillett. “He described Chronicle as ‘a new independent business within Alphabet that’s dedicated to helping companies find and stop cyber attacks before they cause harm.”

$86,000 + 5,600 MPH = Hyper Velocity Missile Defense

By SYDNEY J. FREEDBERG JR.


Compare that to Patriot missiles, which require special launchers and cost roughly $3 million each. The Hypervelocity Gun Weapon System (which comprises the HVP itself plus cannon, fire control, and radar) won’t replace high-cost, high-performance missiles, but it could provide an additional layer of defense that’s cheaper, more mobile, and much harder for an enemy to destroy.

Today’s missile defenses are “brittle,” “inflexible,” and “expensive,” said Vincent Sabio, the HVP program manager at the Pe

Gen. Holmes Sketches Multi-Domain Warfare; A-10 Wings Funded in ’19

By COLIN CLARK

The Air Force and Army couldn’t start an important set of tabletop wargames last week because of the government shutdown. Air Force Gen. Mike Holmes revealed the information when he disclosed today that the Air Force was starting multi-domain war games to hammer out how the land and air services would work together in a high-intensity fight with RussiaNow, being forced to reschedule these isn’t the end of the world, but it’s a very good example of the waste and confusion that Congress causes when it fails to pass appropriations bills, especially the one that really matters to the Constitution — defense.

GAO: Fix security flaws or anyone will be able to track a F-22

By: Daniel Cebul  
Source Link

WASHINGTON ― Some of the military’s most advanced aircraft could be tracked by adversaries, with greater precision than radar, if security flaws in the latest signal technology aren’t addressed. The risk is associated with Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) Out transponder technology. According to a Government Accountability Office report released this month, a 2010 Federal Aviation Administration rule requires all military aircraft to be equipped with ADS-B Out transponders by Jan. 1, 2020, as part of its program to modernize the air transportation system, but neither the Department of Defense nor the FAA has taken significant steps to mitigate security risks.

29 January 2018

The arc to Southeast Asia

Harsh V. Pant

This week India will host heads of state or government of all 10 nations of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) for the Republic Day celebrations in a dramatic declaration of intent by New Delhi to boost India’s ties with Southeast Asia. The year 2017 was an important landmark as India and the ASEAN commemorated 25 years of their partnership, 15 years of summit-level interaction, and five years of strategic partnership. The challenge now is to map out next steps in the India-ASEAN partnership at this time of unprecedented geopolitical flux in the wider Indo-Pacific.

Overcoming disillusionment

India’s One Belt, One Road-Block


By Jacob L. Shapiro

It’s been a busy week for Indian foreign policy. In the past, that statement would have been an oxymoron. The Himalayas isolate India from developments in the rest of the world. Internal diversity makes it hard for India to govern itself, let alone to influence others (though the irony of an American writing that a few days after the U.S. government shutdown is not lost on me). The scope of India’s poverty makes China look like a uniformly rich society by comparison.

The USAF Expands MQ-9 Reaper Drone Force in Afghanistan to Its Largest Size Ever

Joseph Trevithick

The U.S. Air Force says its force of MQ-9 Reapers at Kandahar Airfield in Afghanistan is now the largest deployment of the type to a single base ever. The drones are part of a larger surge in the air war over the country, which could still include yet more unmanned aircraft in the near future as other services, such as the U.S. Navy, consider their own unmanned contributionsThe Air Force says there are now nearly three squadrons worth of Reapers at Kandahar, though it declined to give specific numbers, according to a report by Stars and Stripes on Jan. 26, 2018. The size and scope of American presence there had steadily shrunk since the NATO-led coalition officially ended combat operations in 2014. It has begun to grow again as the United States has reinvigorated its efforts against the Taliban, Al Qaeda, ISIS, and other militant groups in the country, deploying additional ground forces, including elements of the U.S. Army’s first ever dedicated advisory unit, the 1st Security Forces Assistance Brigade, or 1st SFAB.

Why the war in Afghanistan is unwinnable: American war aims in Afghanistan have been, and remain, riddled with contradictions and illusions

Steve Coll

“The United States is not losing in Afghanistan, but it is not winning either, and that is not good enough,” reads the opening sentence of a top-secret review of the war in Afghanistan commissioned by President George W. Bush in 2008, according to multiple participants in that review. Subsequent classified reviews of the American strategy in the war have repeated that conclusion. The Trump administration undertook the latest rethinking of the war in August. President Trump’s advisers again reviewed its causes: opium, corruption, ethnic factionalism and, above all, the support and sanctuary provided to the Taliban by Pakistan, through the covert action arm of its powerful spy agency, the Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence.  Why is this problem so hard? Why, since the Sept. 11 attacks, has the United States been unable to prevent Pakistan, a notional ally that has received billions of dollars in aid, from succoring the Taliban at such a high cost in American lives and Afghan misery?

We Can’t Win in Afghanistan Because We Don’t Know Why We’re There

By Steve Coll
Source Link

“The United States is not losing in Afghanistan, but it is not winning either, and that is not good enough,” reads the opening sentence of a top-secret review of the war in Afghanistan commissioned by President George W. Bush in 2008, according to multiple participants in that review. Subsequent classified reviews of the American strategy in the war have repeated that conclusion. The Trump administration undertook the latest rethinking of the war in August. President Trump’s advisers again reviewed its causes: opium, corruption, ethnic factionalism and, above all, the support and sanctuary provided to the Taliban by Pakistan, through the covert action arm of its powerful spy agency, the Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence.

Secretary of Defense Mattis’s Trip to Southeast Asia: A Few Thoughts

by Joshua Kurlantzick

Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis traveled to Southeast Asia this past week, and during his first stop in Indonesia signaled a desire to improve strategic aspects of the U.S.-Indonesia relationship including on the South China Sea, training, and defense modernization. Visiting U.S. Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis shakes hands with Indonesia's Minister of Foreign Affairs Retno Marsudi at the Foreign Ministry in Jakarta, Indonesia on January 22, 2018. Darren Whiteside/Reuters

China’s Understanding of Global Order Shouldn’t Be Ours

BY AARON FRIEDBERG

Niall Ferguson is a prolific public intellectual who has made a career out of shattering shibboleths. At various points he has defended the achievements of the British Empire, argued that the United Kingdom’s entry into the First World War was “the biggest error in modern history,” and made the case at length that Henry Kissinger is a misunderstood idealist. Ferguson is at it again. In a recent op-ed, he takes on what he describes as the prevailing “myth of the liberal international order.” This piece appeared in China’s Global Times, a pugnacious nationalistic tabloid published by the official People’s Daily. It is not surprising, then, that the view it presents happens to conform quite closely with the official Chinese Communist Party line. It is also, in important respects, mistaken and misleading.

Washington’s New Defense Strategy: Keep Russia, China Down

By F. William Engdahl

One thing can be said about the new Pentagon National Defense Strategy document just released under the name of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis. It is honest about what the target of US military policy is going forward. Washington military policy is explicitly aimed to keep China and Russia from developing any alternative counter-pole to unchallenged US military and political supremacy. The new document lays this out in no uncertain terms. The details are notable and show the disarray that is Washington today, as its once-firm grip on world power disintegrates.

How Sharp Power Threatens Soft Power

By Joseph S. Nye Jr.

Washington has been wrestling with a new term that describes an old threat. “Sharp power,” as coined by Christopher Walker and Jessica Ludwig of the National Endowment for Democracy (writing for ForeignAffairs.com and in a longer report), refers to the information warfare being waged by today’s authoritarian powers, particularly China and Russia. Over the past decade, Beijing and Moscow have spent tens of billions of dollars to shape public perceptions and behavior around the world—using tools new and old that exploit the asymmetry of openness between their own restrictive systems and democratic societies. The effects are global, but in the United States, concern has focused on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and on Chinese efforts to control discussion of sensitive topics in American publications, movies, and classrooms.

Is the United States the new Saudi Arabia?

Samantha Gross

In its January Oil Market Report, the International Energy Agency (IEA) predicts “explosive” growth in U.S. oil production, in reaction to rising oil prices. In a recent congressional hearing, Fatih Birol, Executive Director of the IEA, described the United States as “the undisputed oil and gas leader in the world over the next several decades.” U.S. production is forecast to exceed 10 million barrels per day in 2018, surpassing Saudi Arabia and behind only Russia.

Turkey’s Attack on Kurds Tops USConcerns in Syria, Even as ISISKeeps Fighting

BY KEVIN BARON

Over the past three days, the leader of U.S. Central Command and other American military commanders in the region have sounded increasingly alarmed. CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait ­– Turkey’s assault on Kurdish fighters around the northwest Syrian town of Afrin is now the top concern for U.S. military leaders in the region, who have sounded increasingly alarmed over the past three days. “Yeah, it certainly is. Definitely,” Gen. Joseph Votel told reporters Wednesday aboard a military aircraft traveling from Kuwait City to the United Arab Emirates. Senior leaders from U.S. Central Command, which Votel leads, and U.S. European Command are watching to see if Turkey’s President Recep Erdogan will make good his threat to send forces eastward from Afrin toward Manbij.

In Europe, Subtle Signs Of A Softening On Putin's Russia

 Alexei Druzhinin

MOSCOW — European leaders continue to accuse Russia of spreading disinformation, with a recent European Parliament forum billed as a probe into the "efficiency" of Moscow's propaganda efforts. But the Jan. 17 debate also featured some members of Parliament who defended Russia, blaming Brussels for restricting freedom of speech and accusing Western countries of "paranoia.” In light of evolving positions in Europe about the issue, several Russian experts told Kommersant they do not foresee new restrictions of European policy in regards to Moscow. The point of view of most of the European deputies has not changed since November 2016, when the European Parliament adopted a resolution charging Russian authorities with using "a wide range of mechanisms and tools, such as think tanks, foreign language channels, pseudo-information agencies and multimedia services, social networks and Internet trolls to attack democratic values, to divide Europe and make it seem like the EU's eastern neighbors have adopted a failing approach."

UK warned that Russian threat requires increased defence spending

Ewen MacAskill

Britain’s defence chief of general staff, Sir Nick Carter, is to warn that the UK is trailing Russia in terms of defence spending and capability. Carter is to use a speech in London to enter publicly into the debate over defence spending, which military chiefs and Conservative MPs claim has dropped to dangerously low levels. Failure to keep up with Russia will leave the UK exposed, particularly to unorthodox, hybrid warfare of the kind practised by Russia and other potentially hostile states, according to Carter. One of the biggest threats posed is from cyber-attacks that target both the military and civilian life.

Trump’s National Defense Strategy Has the Pentagon Popping Champagne

By ANDREW J. BACEVICH 

Bearing the imprimatur of Pentagon chief James Mattis, the NDS—at least the unclassified summary that we citizens are permitted to see—is in essence a brief for increasing the size of the U.S. military budget. Implicit in the document is this proposition: more spending will make the armed forces of the United States “stronger” and the United States “safer.” Simply put, the NDS is all about funneling more bucks to the Pentagon. Remarkably, the NDS advances this argument while resolutely avoiding any discussion of what Americans have gotten in return for the $11 trillion (give or take) expended pursuant to the past 16-plus years of continuous war—as if past performance should have no bearing on the future allocation of resources.

Foresight Africa: Top priorities for the continent in 2018



In this year’s Foresight Africa, AGI scholars and invited experts delve deeply into six overarching themes that highlight areas in which African countries and their citizens are taking the lead to achieve inclusive growth. In a world where China and other emerging economies are ascendant, where cooperation on global governance is under challenge, and where free trade faces headwinds, Africa needs its own institutions to play a more assertive role in advancing the continent’s agenda. The potential for a more unified Africa to create never-before-seen opportunities for trade and economic prosperity is gaining traction. Through our exploration, we hope to emphasize that Africa’s future lies in its own hands and that it already has the power to reach its goals.

Russian military was behind ‘NotPetya’ cyberattack in Ukraine, CIA concludes

By Ellen Nakashima

The CIA has attributed to Russian military hackers a cyberattack that crippled computers in Ukraine last year, an effort to disrupt that country’s financial system amid its ongoing war with separatists loyal to the Kremlin. The June 2017 attack, delivered through a mock ransomware virus dubbed NotPetya, wiped data from the computers of banks, energy firms, senior government officials and an airport. The GRU military spy agency created NotPetya, the CIA concluded with “high confidence” in November, according to classified reports cited by U.S. intelligence officials.

Facebook should be 'regulated like cigarette industry', says tech CEO


Alex Hern

Social networks would be regulated “exactly the same way that you regulated the cigarette industry”, Benioff told CNBC at the World Economic Forum in Davos. “Here’s a product – cigarettes – they’re addictive, they’re not good for you, maybe there’s all kinds of different forces trying to get you to do certain things. There’s a lot of parallels.“I think that, for sure, technology has addictive qualities that we have to address, and that product designers are working to make those products more addictive, and we need to rein that back as much as possible,” he added. Benioff, who founded B2B cloud computing company Salesforce in 1999, and is now worth more than $4bn, suggested that regulation of some form was inevitable for the technology industry.

Why digital strategies fail

By Jacques Bughin, Tanguy Catlin, Martin Hirt, and Paul Willmott

Most digital strategies don’t reflect how digital is changing economic fundamentals, industry dynamics, or what it means to compete. Companies should watch out for five pitfalls. The processing power of today’s smartphones are several thousand times greater than that of the computers that landed a man on the moon in 1969. These devices connect the majority of the human population, and they’re only ten years old.

Biden doesn't want cyber war with Russia

By Derek B. Johnson

The former vice president thinks that awareness is the best weapon against Russian "active measures" and information warfare. Former Vice President Joe Biden supports consequences for Russia for its role in the 2016 U.S. election, but rejected calls to start a tit-for-tat cyber war. Speaking at a Jan. 23 Council on Foreign Relations event, Biden addressed a question of whether the U.S. should consider "going on offense" -- in particular, by waging a similar concerted cyber campaign against the Russian government. Biden said yes, "but not necessarily in the cyber space."

The next cyber arms race is in artificial intelligence


An Army sergeant launches a RQ-20 Puma Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) while conducting UAV training during exercise Combined Resolve V at the U.S. Army’s Joint Multinational Readiness Center in Hohenfels, Germany in 2015. The Army is investing in artificial intelligence to help protect its drone systems from cyber attacks. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. John Cress Jr./Released) In theory, the only technology capable of hacking a system run by artificial intelligence is another, more powerful AI system. That’s one reason why the U.S. Army incorporated a powerful AI capabilities into its drone systems that is expected to provide the ultimate cybersecurity — at least, for now. “It’s an arms race,” said Walter O’Brien, CEO of Scorpion Computer Services, whose AI system runs and protects the Army’s UAV operations. “Now I have an AI protecting the data center, and now the enemy would have to have an AI to attack my AI, and now it’s which AI is smarter.”

Hacking: Another Weapon in the Asymmetrical Arsenal

By Scott Stewart

Iran's Islamic Revolution could play out, in part, online. On Jan. 4, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace published a report describing the country as a "third-tier cyberthreat." The report's authors note that despite Iran's success with cyberattacks such as Shamoon and a spear-phishing campaign that hit Deloitte and several other companies, Iranian attacks generally feature poor tradecraft. As a result, investigators haven't had much trouble tracking cyber operations back to the Islamic republic, whether because the attack code contained Farsi terms or because its associated IP address traced to Iran. Iranian spear-phishing attacks, likewise, frequently suffer from their perpetrators' poor command of the English language.

Missile Defense Vs. China, Russia: Decentralize, Disperse, & Hide

By SYDNEY J. FREEDBERG JR

WASHINGTON: China or Russia could all too easily detect and destroy US Army missile defenses, exposing American forces to devastating attack, a forthcoming study finds. Patriot and THAAD units are big groups of big objects — launchers, radars, command posts — that emit lots of heat and radio/radar waves, are hard to camouflage, and can’t relocate quickly. To ensure our missile defenses can survive against near-peer threats, argues study lead author Tom Karako, the Army needs to decentralize its missile defense batteries, disperse the radars and launchers, and hide them in the terrain — a concept he calls “distributed defense.”

Mattis: Pentagon Shifting Focus to Great Power Competition — ‘Not Terrorism’

BY KEVIN BARON

The Trump administration’s long-awaited National Defense Strategy declares a decisive shift in America’s security priorities, away from the age of ISIS-level terrorism and toward a return to great-power competition with regional giants China and Russia. This shift, Pentagon planners say, will require a “more lethal, resilient, and rapidly innovating” military that can regain the overwhelming advantage the United States once held over those rivals and lesser adversaries such as Iran and North Korea.

Teaching Multi-Domain Operations: The Case of British Field Marshal William Slim

By James D. Campbell

Just as the leaders and thinkers within the joint force are becoming more dedicated to the notion that a post-joint understanding of complex future military operations should be framed by the concept of multi- or cross-domain operations, the Joint Warfighting Department at the Air Command and Staff College has similarly altered its instruction of joint capabilities and planning. The department exchanged the traditional service-centric presentations, and discussions of capabilities and employment of forces, replacing them with a series of seminars covering military operations within the various domains of battle. So, instead of viewing military operations through the lens of a service structure, the department is emphasizing holistic joint force capabilities; the manner in which these capabilities facilitate access to, and maneuver within, the battlespace; and the various effects they can achieve by combining and synchronizing actions within and through the land, air, maritime, space, and cyber domains.

CSA MiIley Bets On ‘Radical’ Tech, Promises No More FCS

By SYDNEY J. FREEDBERG JR.

CRYSTAL CITY: The Army needs revolutionary technologies from robot tanks to a long-range super-rifle, the Chief of Staff said today — and it can get them without repeating the mistakes that doomed high-tech programs in the past. By reforming the acquisition bureaucracy, embracing commercial technology and rigorously prototyping new tech to work out bugs, Gen. Mark Milley said, the Army can improve 10-fold on its current weapons without falling into the pitfalls that doomed its last attempt to leap ahead, the canceled Future Combat System.

28 January 2018

India’s Switch from Environmental Victim to Renewable Energy Champ


“A few months from now, a group of people will come here with something called an electric car. I need to know whether or not you have the right voltage connection for them to plug in their vehicles. Do you understand what I’m asking for?” Mr. Dev Reddy, manager of a gas station in rural Anantapur district of India’s Andhra Pradesh looked at me as if he understood. It was 2008, and most people in India had never seen an electric car, but without flinching he took me to a shed to reveal a large plug point, which was used to power an electric sugar cane juicing machine. One look at it and I knew that there was sufficient voltage coming through the connection to be able to charge the lithium-ion battery in the REVA electric vehicles my friends and I would be driving 3,500 kilometers across India.